The breakout zone… 20-22 years of age

Filed in Supercoach, Supercoach midprice, Talking Strategy by on 27/02/2013 • views: 9491

Peter Higginbotham AFL Fantasy genius

The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful. J.H.Poincare (1854-1912)

I have this quote printed on A4 80 gsm paper and pinned on the cork board in my study. I have always delighted in mathematics and in the elegant simplistic beauty of numbers. Work colleagues, people at schools I attended growing up, shop keepers and yes – even Jock himself – have always perplexed me. Nothing seems predictable in the realm of human interaction.

Numbers are a haven for me. In an unpredictable and often illogical world they have been – and always will be – a close and predictable friend.

Last week I flexed my considerable mathematical muscle to provide a trend line depicting the ebb and flow of an AFL player’s Supercoach output in each year of his human development. Click here to review this piece.

Today I would like to hone in on a small portion of this graph that I will coin….


2013 AFL supercoach break out candidates

You see friends of this fantasy football community… numbers can be a beautiful thing in the Supercoach and/or AFL Fantasy arena. A close inspection of last week’s data reveals that we have a higher probability of successful selection of a break out player if we concentrate on players in between the age of 20 and 22. I would like to remind the community that this data was derived from a statistical study of 31 successful Supercoach players.

Correct.. not a sample size befitting a Nobel Prize study but a significant cross section of successful Supercoach warriors of 7+ years in the system nonetheless.

I would like to provide a brief rundown on some of the players of note that fall in the break out zone in season 2013:

Jack Watts

DEF & FWD | Melbourne Football Club | 21 years | 55 games | $460,100 Supercoach | $360,600 DT

Certainly displayed signs of emergence last weekend in the NAB Cup. The progressive build up of his annual Supercoach average over the past 4 seasons suggests to me that he has a rather high probability of breakout. (26, 54, 75 then 86 in season 2012). Dual positional eligibility provides an additional dimension of flexibility. Attractive.

Jack Trengove

MID | Melbourne Football Club | 21 years | 59 games | $400,800 Supercoach | $391,300 DT

His first 2 seasons were impressive but we observed a reduction in output during 2012. In addition to this a foot injury around the festive period stymied an effective preseason before it grew wings. Low likelihood of emergence this season.

Mitchell Duncan

MID | Geelong Football Club | 21 years | 51 games | $429,100 Supercoach | $420,500 DT

A bulding resume of Supercoach output over the past 3 seasons (58, 75 then 80 in season 2012) which fits the profile we are seeking here. Has had considerable midfield time and must be steeling himself for a season as one of the mainstays of the Geelong midfield. Would like to have seen slightly more development is season 2012 but a very reasonable and unique option for the mid price smoky hunter.

Nathan “Teen Wolf” Fyfe

MID | Fremantle Football Club | 21 years | 50 games | $498,800 Supercoach | $458,500 DT

His prowess and ability is no secret to any of us. Nor is his injury susceptibility. The seasoned statistician shudders to think what this potential fantasy monolith could produce with a clear run with injury. Averaged 108 Supercoach points in just his second season in the AFL in 2011 before an injury ravaged 2012. Has had surgery and has been “burning” up the track. High risk. Higher reward?

Clancee Pearce

MID | Fremantle Football Club | 22 years | 50 games | $487,400 Supercoach | $436,000 DT

On the upper end of the age limit with regard to break out eligibility as hypothesized in this article… but included herewith nonetheless. The main reason being that 2012 was the first season that young Clancee was seriously considered by his coach – with Ross Lyon taking a particular liking to the cut of his jib. With an impressive introduction to the regular midfield rotation at Fremantle last season and at this age and/or games played bracket he is particularly attractive. Jock has him in his team as we speak.

Harley Bennell

MID | Gold Coast Suns Football Club | 20 years | 36 games | $521,900 Supercoach | $438,200 DT

A prodigious talent. Prodigious. Improved his first season average of 67 Supercoach points in 2011 up to 92 in 2012. I have observed a significant thickening and strengthening in the trunk of his torso this pre season and I believe that this rapid increase in output is likely to continue in season 2013. Under the wing of Karmichael Hunt (an elite attitude) and shadowing Gary Ablett (the greatest fantasy footballer we have seen) is a formula that MUST reap significant dividends.

Dyson Heppell

DEF & MID | Essendon Football Club | 20 years | 43 games | $450,000 Supercoach | $439,000 DT

Strange output pattern in his first two seasons with a steady average of around 84 Supercoach points per season. Looked adept in a midfield role during Essendon’s first NAB Cup clash and we can all expect to see more of this during the season proper. Another with talent dripping from every extremity… to be considered as a defense option.

Jack Ziebell

MID | North Melbourne Football Club | 21 years | 61 games | $450,000 Supercoach | $439,000 DT

Jack enters his fifth season in the cut and thrust of an AFL season and as Jock would say “it is time to step up and be counted”. Has stagnated at an average of 80 over the past 2 season which is understandable for a young man who has broken his leg twice already. With a season between him and any broken leg shenanigans could this be the year for Jack? A member of a North Melbourne list containing no less that ten players who are 21. It must be concluded that based on this statistic alone it is likely that the overall output of the North Melbourne Football Club is likely to increase in season 2013.

Ben Cunnington

MID | North Melbourne Football Club | 21 years | 54 games | $412,800 Supercoach | $387,500 DT

From all reports Ben has been rather impressive internally this pre season. Click here. This number 5 draft pick started to fulfill his considerable potential late last season with some impressive output and is statistically set to continue on in this vein in season 2013. Averages of 72, 54 and 78 Supercoach points in his first two seasons. See also Ryan Bastinac for a similar profile.

Shaun Atley

 DEF | North Melbourne Football Club | 20 years | 39 games | $380,400 Supercoach | $311,200 DT.

Has switched to become a purely defense eligible option in season 2013… ironic that he looks likely to be swung back into the midfield at North Melbourne this season. Looked impressive during their first NAB clash and will be a relatively popular defense midpriced option this season. Averages of 47 and 71 in his first two seasons of AFL football.

Tom Scully

MID | Greater Western Sydney Football Club | 21 years | 50 games | $424,700 Supercoach | $380,700 DT.

Interesting study this. A steady rise in Supercoach output from 71 up to 78 for the number one draft pick in his first two seasons then a very slight rise to 79 in his first season with Greater Western Sydney. Some suggesting that he will be unburdened this season with the emergence of a plethora of GWS midfield talent which could prompt a considerable increase in output. Will watch this one from afar with interest.

Dustin Martin

FWD & MID | Richmond Football Club | 21 years | 63 games | $473,500 Supercoach | $437,100 DT

If pure talent was the yard stick young Dustin would have to be considered drastically under priced. But it seems that this price is “about right” when one takes into account the attitude related risk that one takes into a season of Supercoach or Dreamteam with Dustin. However… Mark Williams is apparently on the case and the signs are all pointing towards a fit and firing Dustin this season.. we’ll see. Jock’s clumsy emotion driven observations re: Dustin this season are worth a read. Click here.

Luke Parker

MID | Sydney Football Club Premiers 2013 | 20 years | 32 games | $379,500 Supercoach | $343,600 DT

Incurred the wrath of the vest on several occasions last season in a robust Sydney outfit that would later go on to win the Premiership Cup. Expect his to move into the midfield this season as Sydney looks to inject youth into the team with ageing stars Jude Bolton, Adam Goodes and McVeigh in the twilight of their careers. Jock quite interested in Luke as an option this season. Best afield for Sydney is its clash with GWS in NAB round 1.

Brodie Smith

DEF | Adelaide Football Club | 21 years | 36 games | $347,200 Supercoach | $329,500 DT

Was a strong candidate to come in off the fringe at Adelaide to become a fixture in the midfield before breaking a collarbone a few weeks ago. A blow to Adelaide… will be interesting to note who slips into the vacuum that Brodie’s absence creates. Watch for this young Lion mid season.

Do any of these breakout boys catch your eye??

Peter Higginbotham

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Comments (71)

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  1. david says:

    locked in heppel,fyfe, martin

    • BIGBOY says:

      I do not trust martin as there is to much speculation on him so you should keep track of his progress because he is ofter a very rowdy player and is prone to suspension.Think about it….

    • micki S says:

      I like J Kennedy from west coast. looks promising in NAB

  2. @chillburn says:

    ive got bennell + heppell.

  3. Ram-Rod says:

    So far I just have Dusty. I also have Gaff and Jack Steven ? How old are these 2? Good chance these 2 will break out too I think 😉

    Also, I was having a close look at Richard Tambling last weekend, at only $219,000, I thought he would be worth a mention, considering his low price. What is his job security like? Thinking about putting him in place of a rookie as they are looking a bit thin down back, what are your thoughts?

  4. Pure Class Higgo,

    I had a look at my team this afternoon and thought, yep that's it set now – its looking really good. Now you have me second guessing all over again.

    Bennell is the one on that list that has me scratching my head. His price is just so awkward though, and is there better value in the middle for cheaper ??

  5. Luke says:

    I've got Martin, Bennell and Watts. im a TIges supporter so always pick deledio and cotchin is looking good. martin is ready to just about win a brownlow. Here me when i saw im the first person to predict a Richmond 2013 Premiership. any thouights on my team after my raving on??? love your work jock. and podcasts are hilarious. Thoughts on my team? bare in mind a lot of my players played 22 games last season. Even considered Tuck for that mid spot or Watson, Pendles, Swan, Beams, Mundy, Boyd, Thompson so many!!!
    Goddard, B – Shaw, H – Broughton, G – Vlastuin, N – Goodes, B – Pittard, J – EMERG: Van Unen, D – Terlich, D
    Ablett, G – Dandgerfield, P – Deledio, B – Cotchin, T – Bennell, H – Moloney, B – Mitchell, K – Crouch, B – EMERG: O'Meara, J – Viney, J
    Maric, I – Leuenberger, M – EMERG: Rowe, S – Currie, D
    Cox, D – Rockliff, T – Martin, D – Watts, J – Knights, C – Macaffer, B – EMERG: Simpson, J – Dwyer, S

    • jockreynolds says:

      A richmond premiership!! Crouching would just about bust a nut I reckon. Mate – love the look of your team – but cant help but reckon you are letting just a shade of team bias creep into calculations?

      • BIGBOY says:

        TOO MUCH RICHMOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ram-Rod says:

      Swap Lids for Kennedy and Knights for Siposs or Varcoe I recon… The rest is good….. Finals for Richmond this year for sure Luke, premiership in 2014 =D

    • definitely not a richmond fan..

  6. Luke says:


  7. Sean says:

    Get Luke Parker into your side guys. Started last year on fire before unfortunately copping the vest in a number of games. Primed for a breakout year

  8. Pete says:

    Thoughts on:

    – David Sallow (20 YRS | MID | $418,200) – ave ~80 for last 3 yrs
    – Toby Greene (19 YRS | MID | $506,300) – ave 94.6, but improved this to 107.2 for the last half of 2012
    – Liam Shiels (22 YRS | MID| $375,900) – ave 70.3, down from 91.0 in 2011
    – Reece Conca (20 YRS | MID | $376,300) – similar stats to Parker, but improved scoring in last half of the year
    – Mitch Wallis (20 YRS | MID | $467,200) – 54.0 in 2011 up to 87.4 in 2012. Elite in 2013?
    – Jarrad Redden (22 YRS | RUC | $372,200) – 69.6 ave, but improved to 87.3 last half of 2012. Better upside than Jenkins?
    – Alex Fasolo (21 YRS | FWD | $404,100) – 75.4 in 2012, but improved to 82.5 in last half of 2012
    – Thomas Lynch (20 YRS | FWD | $366,000) – 72.1 in 2012, but improved to 82.3 in last half of 2012
    – Arryn Sipposs (20 YRS | FWD | $316,600) – 59.2 in 2012, improved to 70.8 in last half. More of the ball in 2013 with no Goddard?

    • jockreynolds says:

      Sipposs looked fantasic in NAB 1 off the half back line – and has been groomed to fill the voids left by Goddard and/or Gram… great option

  9. Pete says:


    – Andrew Gaff (21 YRS | MID | $483,500) – 61.0 in 2011 up to 90.4 in 2012. Elite in 2013?

  10. Liddlejnr says:

    JACK DARLING:- breakout champ 2013!!!

  11. Tom says:

    G'day Higgo, great article!
    I'm seriously considering Harley Bennell, but I don't know who he should replace in my Mid out of:

    Ablett, Dangerfield, Swallow, Shuey, Fyfe, Moloney??

    Any thoughts from anyone will be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Brick says:

      I'm considering dropping Ablett. An overall winner from a few seasons ago started with a "no goddard" strategy (BG was the highest priced player that year) He did get somewhat lucky and I think he ended up upgrading to him at some point – but it raises the question is Ablett worth too much? and can you cover his points output by spending the extra $$$ else where.

      I'm very tempted and we have more trades this year.

      • Ram-Rod says:

        What if he goes for 200 first round and your opponent has the C on him… U will be behind the 8 ball for sure

      • Shimma says:

        You cant possibly be comparing Goddard to Ablett. Ablett is a must. Every year.

      • @timbzy91 says:

        I'll take Ablett at this price – albeit reluctantly. Can't hope to win without him. he will push the 200 mark on a few occasions for sure and being up against the Saints R1 I'm expecting a huge score. Saints won't finish higher than 12th this year and their midfield resistance won't even trouble Gazza

      • Kev says:

        If you don't start with gazza, when are you planning to pick him up? You know he'll ave around 120-130. So not expecting a huge price drop. If you're lucky, 670,000. It will cost 2-3 trades to get him in, provided of course there aren't any injuries to cover during those weeks.

        Save yourself the hassle and just start with him

  12. chels says:

    beautiful stuff Higgo, beautiful. Pearls of wisdom from numbers – thank you

  13. Shezza says:

    Dylan shiels is the one. Will average 90+ and would have went no 1 in his draft. Yeats his tac coach said he would go at no 1 and is a contested ball animal.

  14. Tim says:

    If you could choose one who would you guys pick out of these guys (Shuey, Gaff, Fyfe and Bennel)

    • Mac says:

      In terms out of Total output, I'd pick Shuey, but in terms of value, Fyfe,

  15. Brick says:

    Considering Bennell over Ablett – Harley did pull out a 196 last season.

  16. Max says:

    I like Duncan 2nd best mid at Geelong he is in my team right now…. Ziebell will be good aswell. Love Bennell and Heppell and I had Martin until he was injured

  17. matty says:

    i noticed sam wright in the north v melb game seemed to have pretty good output – he is same age as ziebell and might get a lot more ball across half back. is he too big a gamble?

    • @timbzy91 says:

      on my watch list for sure, keeping a close eye. I already have a few North players though so reluctant. Atley is probably a better option IMO but could be a good smokey if he performs well

  18. @MRB37 says:

    My guts tell me Bennell is going to be the bolter this year. I'm considering adding him, but i'm worried about potentially starting 3 GC midfielders (Ablett, Bennell and O'Meara).

    Jack Steven is also a 22 year old you might consider as a POD. Don't think he'll have a huge Beams or Dangerfield jump into the Super Elite or Elite category, but could become a good little starting option that averages 105 for you. Averaged 90 points from 20 possessions last year, if he can get that up to 25-27 , keep his disposal efficiency in the 65% range and keep the clearance and contested ball winning stats (Interesting note, 38% of his clearances resulted in a score for the Saints, highest percentage of the top 50 clearance players in the AFL), then he'll be good to go.

    I did have Brodie Smith in my backs pre injury. Averaged 83 over his last 8 games last year (including finals, always good to see a kid stand up in the pressure games), talk of moving him into the middle at times, would have boosted his scores. He'll be awkward to trade in once he comes back though, maybe if he's fit and firing and one of your expensive backs gets injured and/or isn't performing?

    • jockreynolds says:

      Mate Bennell will be an absolute bottler this season – big on him and a big chance to run out in the JR Brumby FC midfield this season. Impressed by the transformation of his body in the off season

    • JJFyzz says:

      I agree 3 GC midfielers does seem like a risk. No risk, no reward though so I’m going to give it a crack!!

    • dools says:

      Hi mate Bennell is a lock ! along with Clancee of the over flow

    • casperjoe says:

      Couldn't agree more about Jack Steven. Really reminds me of a young Dane Swan. Wins contested ball, runs out games, tackles hard and kicks goals. He just needs to tighten up his disposal and he could break in to the elite category.

  19. Michael says:

    Jockey i have a moster of a question that has been troubling me all supercoach selection.

    Which will be the more potent combo in the midfield

    Ablett/K.Mitchell or Parker/Fyfe or similar combos Gaz/Jaeger vs Parker/Watts etc etc

    Do you take Abletts 140 average knowing hell only play about 18 games for the season or do you take two potential breakout players who could average 100 points each per round.

    • Michael says:

      Also the one breakout priced player i have in my team who i think will kill it this year is D.Rich. This kid has so much talent and with the added support into the BNE mid/forward he will score higher. Watching him play in NAB 1 i had forgotten just how good this kids vision and natural instincts are. He just puts the ball in the right spot and with a better structured team this year i think the forwards will lead to the correct spots allowing Rich to increase to a 110+ average

    • Shimma says:

      Why do you say GAJ will only play 18? GC wont have any reasons to rest him

      • @timbzy91 says:

        i suspect minor injury/soreness may occur for the greatest man in the game. If i was coach of GC and Ablett had even the slightest worry of soreness or wasn't feeling 100% i'd rest him. Suns showed they could win games without him last year and they have plenty of midfield talent to blood. Having said that i think Pendles will be rested for finals at least 1 round too so maybe Gaz isn't such a bad option.

        Even if he misses a few weeks with his price tag it frees up a lot of coin for sideways trading

  20. Tom says:

    Is Bennell a better option than A.Swallow?

  21. Michael says:

    Josh Kennedy from Westcoast is 20y.o and averagin 70….. what are your thoughts on him adding an extra 15-20 points average this year?

  22. James says:

    Current mids are Ablett, swan, Kennedy, cotchin, Murphy, K.Mitchell, omeara, viney, crouch, j.simpkin. I’m pretty sure Benell will be a lock by the end of nab cup. Is it worth dropping Ablett and using the cash elsewhere?

    Def: Goddard, shaw, Gibbs, goodes, vlaugstin, terlich (coloqhuan, pittard)
    Mid: as above
    Ruck: cox/mcevoy, leunberger (currie, Rowe)
    Fwd: Franklin, Martin, Rockliff, watts, varcoe, macaffer (daniher, paparone).


  23. dools says:

    Ya Jack Darling primed to go If the fodder Ii have been getting from WC is true…..

  24. Mac says:

    Heppell seems to be a lock for most teams, but what i'm worried about is the effect that Goddard will have on him. I can't see Heppell improving while Goddard's there.

    • Shimma says:


    • Magpie_Mayhem says:

      Heppell will improve and make you money…… doubt about it,
      it just remains to see by how much.
      Goddard will drop so pick him up when he dips (which he will)
      Those two tips are worth 70 to 100k so thank me after round 5 or 6

      • Shimma says:

        yep I agree on Goddard, you'd probably be the first other person I've seen take that side on him though

  25. BubbaNo1 says:


    Toumpas, Mitchell O’meara Wines Crouch Lonergan Viney……..they are the top mid rookies for this year in order of points scoring and job security in my opinion ….1 or 2 need to be left out….who should it be????? and WITHOUT regard to cost.because if they are good enough then I will find the extra 60k for a Toumpas or Wines if I think they will deliver for me….I’m thinking that Viney and Lonergan need to be left out….what are your thoughts?

  26. Shaun says:

    Jock – this pre-season obsession with "Jock" Watts needs to stop!

  27. Adam says:

    Whats the thoughts of J. Selwood, or is there better options out there?

  28. Magpie_Mayhem says:

    Luke Parker …………lock and load!!!!

  29. James says:

    Jock – What are your thoughts on luke breuuuust?

  30. ally says:

    whats your thoughts on j patton ? hes currently in my side he looked quite good last weeknds ??

  31. Leroy says:

    Whats the big deal on Luke Parker??

  32. Philip says:

    how has pedersen been? he was good at north but didnt get much game time? would anyone take him ahead of leun?

  33. legend says:

    really liking my team at the moment. not so sure on my foward rookies though
    Thoughts would be greatly apreciated.
    Ablett,Pendlebury,dangerfeild,priddis,bennel, varcoe,k.mitchell,o'meara,viney,crouch

    116,600 left

  34. casperjoe says:

    Jack Steven is worth a shot. Yeah he's expensive, but he wins a lot of his own ball, runs whole games out, tackles heaps and can kick goals. Reminds me of a young Dane Swan.

  35. Jamie says:


  36. NathDill says:

    thought on Kane Lucas??

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